The evolutionary cycle of gadgetry is fast enough now that you can score some great deals on last year’s products, which are perfectly fine for all but the most technologically literate (or obsessed) people in your life. A perfect example: the first generation Zune, which can be found for as low as $80, has a bigger screen than a non-Touch iPod, and a 30 gigabyte capacity. Yes, it’s also got lots of drawbacks. But that’s why it’s $80, and for the average consumer who just wants a decent mp3 and movie player, it does the job nicely.
If you’re willing to commit to one format or the other (although we keep saying don’t!), Amazon is now selling both Blu-ray and HD-DVD players for $300 or less, with special offers that let you add 5 to 10 movies for free.